November 16, 2016
Dinner with a long time actor/director friend tonight was long overdue. Larry Eisenberg is the artistic director of the Lonny Chapman Group Theatre in Burbank. His is a labor of love that has helped keep shows on the stage and the doors open wide for 43 years. Lonny Chapman was one of those 'character' actors who so loved the theatre that he formed his own Group and gathered like minded folks to keep the dream alive. I recently saw Lonny in Elia Kazan's BABY DOLL with Carol Baker and Carl Malden. He was a ubiquitous guy mostly in the background, but steady and reliable and recognizable.
Reconnecting with Larry on Sunday was a nice surprise and as we caught up over dinner, I remembered what a present and intelligent and generous guy he is. Being in the presence of folks like this awakened me to life in and around the Theatre. Theatre is immediate and personal, never quite the same from one performance to the next: Alive.
This all turns on a quote that I saw tonight about the presence of Theatre by John Steinbeck, which reminded me of Tom Joad's speech at the end of The Grapes of Wrath:
"... I’ll be all around in the dark – I’ll be everywhere. Wherever you can look – wherever there’s a fight, so hungry people can eat, I’ll be there. Wherever there’s a cop beatin’ up a guy, I’ll be there. I’ll be in the way guys yell when they’re mad. I’ll be in the way kids laugh when they’re hungry and they know supper’s ready, and when the people are eatin’ the stuff they raise and livin’ in the houses they build – I’ll be there, too."
That spirit lives in Theatre. In the dark.. taking us just about anywhere we agree to abandon disbelief and head off to. Laughter and Pain and Hope.. on the stage.
The idea to encourage Faithless Electors to not vote for the republican is growing. This link is to a site that I have not vetted that cites precedent for electors to not vote for the candidate they were expected to vote for. It's time to abolish the Electoral College and if enough electors decide to change this election, that idea may be coming of age. Check this out for more information.
And, one recharging chayote!
November 16, 2016